Some injured employees we talk to are interested in hiring a lawyer to help them get benefits but are hesitant because they don’t want a lawyer calling their employer. This is an easy concern to address because the answer is simple – we don’t contact your employer.
One of the first things we do for our clients is file a claim. The official form is called an Application for Adjustment of Claim. This is filed with the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission. By law, we have to send a copy to your employer. After that, there is no reason for us to have any further contact with them. We know privacy is a big concern, and we respect that.
When a lawyer is representing an injured worker, he or she deals primarily with the insurance company. Your employer most likely has insurance and therefore their insurance company is handling the claim from their end. Pretty much everything gets handled between their insurance company and your lawyer.
This is good news for many people we talk to. They have good bosses and like their jobs, or at the very least they are grateful for having their jobs don’t want things to be awkward. We get that. We know that you have a life after your injury and want it to be as smooth as possible. Filing a claim for workers’ compensation is fairly routine in most cases.
The bad news about having the insurance company involved is that they are on a mission to limit the benefits they allow. But a good lawyer knows how to handle that, too. It’s another reason why having a lawyer makes your life easier. The insurance company likes to play games and they’re less likely to do so when an experienced lawyer is involved.
In our opinion, you don’t have anything to lose by filing a claim. If you’ve been hurt at work by something related to your job, then the law entitles you to benefits. Both employee and employer benefit from the workers’ compensation system. It protects employers from lawsuits by prohibiting employees from suing after an injury; and it helps workers by streamlining the process and helping them get faster treatment and get back to work sooner.
The system doesn’t work perfectly in every case, but it’s there for a reason. And the process can be handled without you and your employer feeling stuck in the middle.